Saturday, October 18, 2008

More on the 'kill him' controversy at Scranton's Palin rally

• The Times-Tribune reports more about what reporter Dave Singleton heard and where he heard it
• “TL story draws national interest,” the TL reports, noting that their initial story drew more than 200,000 page views
• Singleton tells ProPublica that a Secret Service flack has suggested that the story should never have been published
• Singleton's reporting isn't good enough for University of Scranton journalism professor Matthew Reavy, who calls the death threat story "unsupported" on his blog


Anonymous said...

Again, just because the SS, (after what I'm sure was an exhastive search with 100s of interviews), couldn't find someone to go on the record saying they heard KILL HIM is not proof that it wasn't said.
SS never said is was "unfounded" as the TL lied, rather that it could not find corroboration. Hardly surprising given the embarassment such outbursts have caused McCain at EVERY OTHER RALLY he has had. (Except among the progressive, diverse, racially inclusive Republicans of NEPA where such a comment would never, ever be uttered.)

Anonymous said...

If a tree falls in the woods, it makes no sound if a government body is not there to corroborate it.

Anonymous said...

The reporter repeated what he heard to Federal Agents 'investigating' the matter.
If the SS really thinks the reporter made it up, the reporter would guilty of all sorts of felonies for offering false information to a federal agent regarding a threat to a presidential candidate.
Does everyone -- like Seder, Rush, and the knuckledrag coalition -- really think a veteran reporter w/o strong political views risked career, credibility and federal charges -- to make something up?

Anonymous said...

Yo! Morons.

No one ever said Singleton made anything up.

They're just questioning wether a comment of that magnitude uttered at a crowded political rally should have been printed without CONFIRMING to the best of one's ability that it was indeed said.

And, uh, the Secret Service guy DID say it was "unfounded." That was his word. And you can beleieve that they would check such stuff out pretty well.

No one's accusing anyone of lying. Just being sloppy.

Anonymous said...

7:36... so if you go an accident involving a Blue SUV, do you ask someone if the SUV is indeed blue? If someone yells out "Leighton's a Dufus" at a city council meeting, do you survey the crowd to see if they heard Leighton, or Layton, or Lea Kong?
I thought reporters were the eyes and ears of the public.. I guess at Mc/P rallys they are GOP stagehands.

Anonymous said...

"Kill him" is hard to mistake. Sloppiness does not make you hear things that aren't there.

Either 1. the reporter heard it, or.
2/ He's making it up, should be dismissed, never work in the business again, and be charged with lying to federal agents.

Seems most people beleive number 2.

Anonymous said...

if the reporter heard it, why no description of the guy. Why didn't the reporter try to talk with him/her. Probably would have been a colorful interview.

That so many on the board are so unwilling to acknowledge that the reporter was at the least sloppy, speaks poorly of reporters in NEPA.

Anonymous said...

2:04 -- every been to a ballgame? A concert? That's sort of like being on the ground at a political rally.
If someone yelled "Freebird!" or "ref's on quaaludes" 15 or so feet behind you and five for so feet over, could you get a descripition? Could you track him down?
I doubt "Kill Him" was a part of a ten-minute red-faced chant, as you suggest.

Anonymous said...

If you see a blue SUV at an accident, it's just a blue SUV. You see it. It's a fact. Unless you're color blind, it's easy to recognize.

But reporting the comment, "kill him" carries a little more weight. It's when you make sure it was said before you put it in print or online.

And there is a third option of what might have happened. Maybe someone yelled something the reporter mistook as "kill him."

That's all. You Shamrock fellas are a bit tight in the shorts over this. Relax. It was probably just an honest mistake. It never should have been reported, however.

Anonymous said...

If you hear it, you hear it. There's no mistaking Kill Him. If you hear a siren, tires scretch, or someone yell "Hell no we won't go" you don't need a second opinion or "another side." Plus, "Kill Him" and "He's a arab" are the McCain Fight Song.

I have an idea no on wants to accept... maybe reporter really did her someone yell "Kill Him." Like hundreds of other participant and dozens of other rallies have.
I know it sounds crazy and no one outside the TS tower seems to beleive it. But just maybe he did.

That, or he committed a cardinal sin of journalism and a felony by lying to federal agents.

Anonymous said...

If people had been yelling "kill him" at "dozens of other rallies" then don't you think it would have come up somewhere, anywhere before this?

Especially with a highly trained group of people whose job it is to check such things out.

Face it. It was a stupid move to print it.

print it, let's make sure

Anonymous said...

7:39. Ever read ANY news outside of Nepa?
"Traitor" "kill him" "off with his head" people bringing Obama monkey dolls and mutilating them at rallies.
Weeks of that gave the Palin's Scranton appearance hightened attention and the TT still PLAYED DOWN the shout of "Kill Him."
But you need to lift your head out of the Wyoming Valley to see what happens outside NEPA before making stupid claims that nothing untoward every happened at a Mc/P rally.

Anonymous said...

The TimesTrib went out of their way to say it was an isolated incident. I agree with the last guy. How is this a lie here, but reality everywhere else? In all fairness it was played down there. At least in the story, the header may have been a bit much. That's a fair argument.

Didn't Andrew Seder get fired from the TT? Kind of a conflict of interest letting him write the story about the paper that sent him packing. The TL editor would have been smart to assign another reporter to call the Scranton office of the SS to get the quote "corroborate" and change it to "unfounded." Who made up the quote again?

Maybe someone should tell Rush about the TT/Seder connection. Lord knows if it worked the other way Seder's firing is all Rush would be talking about.

He was there, maybe he heard it too and didn't have the balls to report it. I'm just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

Hey 6:32, you must work for the TT, because your facts are wrong.
I'm positive Andrew Seder was not fired by The Scranton Times. I worked there at the time and watched him hand his two-week notice to Chris Imperial. And, please note, that was the biggest smile I had seen on someone's face at the TT in a long time. Fact: Seder quit, wasn't fired. Another seemingly false report from the TT. Anyone want to verify my report should ask Imperiale, Borys, Bill Nish in HR or anyone else at that paper who was there at the time and would be honest.

And I don't think breaking news on the web site that it happened then another breaking news story that the SS is investigating is the definition of "down playing."

Anonymous said...

I think in HR they call this "constructive dismissal." Employer systemeatically makes it SO difficult on employee to do their job successfully that the browbeaten employee quits (constructive dismissal.)
Seder was just one of several victims at the TT in that era.
But the fact remains and the point above stands: Lots of Bad Blood between Seder and TT. He should not have done the story.